A lot of color has gone out of our language lately. Are we pinching words as we pinch pennies these days? Does inflation cause a decline in extravagant language? People have become tight-mouthed as well as tight-fisted.

Listen to the young people. "Really" is no longer an adverb. "Really" is an affirmative statement. Really.

"Like" and "you know" seem to precede about anything. Verbs, like pennies, are obsolete.

Phooey! I don't mind the verbal shorthand as much as the drabness of the babble. Some of our best words and our better slang expressions are no longer in use. What is worse, there are no replacements. Really. You know?

I miss the words that roll right off the tongue on the way to making a point. The words that describe by their very sound are best.

Persnickity is an example. Persnickity actually feels fastidious and exacting when you say it. Natty is a word that is neatly said. Razzmatazz certainly has a flashy sound to it. Skulk and skullduggery positively reek and roar with deception and evasion.

A bungler simply sounds inefficient. Lilly-livered is far more picturesque than plain old cowardly. Gizmo seems the perfect sounding word for a whatchamacallit.

I would much rather be bamboozled or hoodwinked than just plain fooled. I would prefer to muddle through a difficult problem instead of being advised to "hang in there, baby." And, shouldn't we bandy about an idea before we "run it up the flag pole," for all to see?

Is no one in a dither anymore? Are Dapper Dan and Nervous Nelly endangered species? Have highfalutin whippersnapers become extinct? Doesn't anyone have any gumption? Surely there still people with moxie and pluck, as well as a"lot of guts."

Where have vim and vigor gone? Perhaps these traits are only acquired by going through a lot of rigamarole, which seems to be in short supply today, too. We use red tape instead.

Our politicians are said to vacillate on the issues. What should be said is that they dillydally, shilly-shally or just plain dawdle. They go off on "junkets" now, not boondoggles. Boondoggle seems so much more appropriate. Actually they often appear to gallivant.

Why is everything "messed up" all of a sudden rather than bollixed or botched? Where have all the big lummoxes and galoots gone? For Pete's sake, how can the newspapers and the police talk about "altercations" when they could be using broubaha and Donnybrook?

Where is the person who would rather do a half-hearted (or worse) job than give it a lick and a promise? When did kit and caboddle become "a whole mess of stuff?"

Obviously, my dander is up -- or should I say that I am "up tight?" I'd like to go to a shindig again, one I could get all gussied up for. I'd go gaga for a little razzle-dazzle!

Just the other day, though, I was discombobulated. I was not in need of "space." I did not need to "stay cool" or "get with it." I knew very well what the problem was, and how to get out of it, but at the time, I was discombobulated. Lots of people get that way. Really.